5 Stages Of Grief – Grief is the ground reality of all human beings because everyone, at least once in life, will experience it. Grief does not accompany the loss of a loved one only; it can occur from the end of a relationship, losing your dream job, or any other life-changing happenings.

In addition, grief is a highly individual experience that implies that it does not occur in order. Besides, it also isn’t bound by any timetables or schedules. You might be crying at one point, and at another, you may get furious or feel empty.

However, none of this is strange. Everyone suffers in their own way, although there are certain similarities in the phases and sequence of emotions felt throughout grief. Below we will be discussing five stages of suffering, which is a theory suggested by a psychiatrist.

Table of Contents

Who developed it?

The 5 stages of grief, also called The Kübler Ross model, was devised by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and became renowned when her book “On Death and Dying” was released in 1969. Kübler-Ross created this model to characterize persons approaching their own demise due to an incurable ailment. However, it was swiftly adopted as a generic viewpoint regarding grief.

What are the 5 stages of grief?

Remember that these stages are intended to be informative and may not relate to everybody and occur in the following format. The 5 phases of grief are as follows:

1. Denial

Denial Stage Of Grief
Photo by Julia Taubitz

Denial is the inability to understand the reality of a tragedy. It can be challenging to accept the truth that you have suffered an enormous loss and that everything has changed and will not return to its old state.

Moreover, it’s common to feel emotionless in the days following a tragedy. Many individuals act as though everything is normal at first. Despite being aware that a loved one has gone, it is difficult to imagine that someone valuable will not return. It’s also commonplace to hear their voice or see them after they’ve passed away.

In the stages of grief, denial symptoms may encompass:

  • Thinking that nothing went wrong and your dear one is still alive.
  • Keep quiet about your bereavement or behave as if nothing happened if you do.
  • Avoiding your sense of sadness by occupying yourself with daily tasks or other activities.
  • Falsely claiming that your loved one is on the trip and will return shortly.
  • Continue to talk in the present time regarding your deceased dear person.

2. Anger

Anger Stages Of Grief
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Upon the death of a close person, it’s natural to feel angry. You are prone to feel great mental agony as you try to conform to a different situation. Because it is too great to digest, rage may appear to provide an expressive channel.

Take into account that being angry does not necessitate being extremely vulnerable. It is, nevertheless, more tolerable than acknowledging you are terrified. Anger enables you to share your feelings without fear being judged or rejected.

However, when people begin to express emotions associated with grief, rage is often the first feeling you experience. This might make you feel alienated in your situation and standoffish toward people when you need warmth, communication, and support the most.

3. Bargaining

Bargaining
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The bargaining process in the five stages of grief can occur before and after the loss. For example, before a tragedy happens when you think, “If I recover from a car accident, I promise I’ll start charity work” or “If my husband recovers after his medical condition, I’ll never argue with him again.”

Nevertheless, it can also occur after the loss, where you come to the point of thinking “if only.” For instance, you might think, “If only we’d gone early to a doctor, maybe she could’ve been treated.”

This may not look like bargaining, but the thinking is similar. “We engage in mental gymnastics to try to undo something that we can’t undo.

Although this does not appear to be bargaining, the thought process is comparable. You engage in psychological manipulations to reverse what you can’t.

4. Depression

Man In One Of The Stages Of Grief
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If a person you care about passes away or you’ve suffered some severe loss, it’s understandable to be depressed. The following are some of the signs and indicators of the depressive phase of grief:

  • Hopelessness regarding the future.
  • Feeling disoriented, lonely, or perplexed about your life
  • Difficulty concentrating your thoughts
  • Decision-making problems

Bodily signs such as aches, as well as alterations in sleep habits, often accompany grief-related stress. Research has even shown it to induce more significant inflammation in the body, which can exacerbate current health problems and result in future issues.

Clinical depression, a psychological health disorder characterized by behavioral, cognitive, and physiological symptoms, is not similar to the depressive phase of grief, but it can lead to clinical depression. Therefore, it’s critical to confront your loss when it’s still fresh in your mind.

5. Acceptance

Self-Acceptance
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It is not as if you no more experience the sorrow of loss once you reach a point of acceptance. Nevertheless, you are no more opposing the truth of your condition, and you are no more attempting to change it.

In this stage, sorrow and grief are still present. However, the psychological coping methods of rejection, bargaining, and rage are less prevalent.

Do people experience it in order?

No. It is a non-linear model. Not everybody may go over all five phases, and they might not be in this sequence.

Because each person’s grieving is personal, you might start by bargaining with your bereavement and then go on to rage or rejection. You could stay in any five phases for weeks and miss the others completely.

So why do we need to understand the 5 stages of grief?

Symbolism Of Miscarriage
Photo by Claire Kelly

The five stages can help you comprehend a few of the varied emotions you might experience when you suffer a loss. Moreover, it also enables you to understand what another person suffering a loss might be encountering. It’s vital to remember that each person’s grief path is different.

Also Read: Reasons Why You Should Surround Yourself With Positive People

The takeaway?

The key to comprehending grief is recognizing that no two people go through it comparably. Grief is a highly personal experience, and you might experience something different each time. You might need many months, or you could be grieving for years.

A mental health expert is an excellent option for assessing your sentiments and discovering a feeling of confidence in these intense and hefty feelings if you feel you want help dealing with the emotions and changes.

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